Joshua King Ingalls, Grave of the Landless

Here’s another item from The Spirit of the Age, a poem by J. K. Ingalls.


On a lovely “green isle,” where the billows of ocean
Roll on in their might, where the loud tempests rave,
The victim lies still, for not toll or devotion
Could in life rear a home or in death buy a grave.
The flowers may bloom, and the harvests mature,
He heeds them no more as they taunt the oppressed;
He has suffered the last which the wronged may endure;
He sleeps, and no landlord disturbs his last rest.

Oh England, say where are the sons of the nation,
Thou falsely dist promise to rule and befriend!
Alas, how they perish! they die of starvation,
And thou to this treason, thy great power dost lend.
The flowers may bloom, and the harvests mature,
No bounty of heaven can reach the oppressed:
They are suffering the last which the wronged may endure,
Ere they sleep, where no tyrant can break their last rest.

Yet know that the souls, thou hast wantonly given
To be trampled in dust, shall still plead from the sky,
Rouse the race to assert its proud birthright from heaven,
While oppression and want, with thy memory shall die.
Then the flowers shall bloom, and the harvests mature,
For others than tyrants, who bind the oppressed:
They have suffered the last, which the wronged may endure;
They ask, now, that Man in his toil shall be blest.

Oh, Spirit of Freedom, by justice be guided;
Let Brotherhood be, on they banner, portrayed;
Wake the millions to battle for the Right undivided,
And Humanity’s father they triumph shall aid.
Then for all shall be harvests, the fruits and the flowers,
And man pine no longer by hunger oppressed,
But the Earth, with her smiles and her sunshine and showers,
Be a home for the toiling, where All shall find rest.


J. K. I., “Grave of the Landless,” Spirit of the Age, I, 8 (August 25, 1849), 113.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.